Sunday, July 7, 2024

Deal With It


The heatwave continues, but a slight cool breeze from the reservoir took the edge off.

Visit #1486, 6:40-8:20AM, 3.7 miles, 4.1 lbs. of litter.

Temps in the low 70s, humidity a whopping 93% with a dew point higher than the temperature!

You can predict how many people you'll see recreating in Hubbard Park by eyeballing the weather.

Sunday's conditions kept the crowds at bay which is what I expected.

I was curious to see how clean Castle Craig would be after Wednesday's fireworks show so that's where I was headed this morning.

The parks crew did a spectacular job cleaning up the park itself after the festivities; did it extend up the the peak? Let's see.

But first, earlier this week I took a bike ride on some trails and found a fallen tree which I was able to remove without any tools.

I rode over to the Halfway House-I received an e-mail from Chris Bourdon telling me his crew did mow around the area as I requested early in June. The Halfway House will now look good for the rest of the season. My thanks to Chris and his parks department workers.

Over at Merimere Reservoir on Sunday morning I found this hat. Not exactly something to wear to mom's house. Needless to say, I won't be washing and giving this to Goodwill.

Up at Castle Craig, the area was virtually spotless; I was impressed. However, there was one "i" which wasn't dotted. I took care of it.

The flag was powered by an even cooler breeze at this elevation.

Goodness knows I needed to cool down, so I sat down at the bench at the base of Castle Craig and took in the early morning view east for a few minutes.

On the return trip to the parking lot I stopped to clear one leaning tree and trim another fallen tree encroaching upon the trail.

I was glad to take off my sweat soaked backpack.

But my entertainment didn't end at Hubbard Park this morning. Leaving Hubbard Park, I stopped at the bank ATM for some grocery cash and couldn't help but notice what was in the wastebasket.

Here's double meaning to the phrase, "throwing away money", and at a bank, no less. Maybe they withdrew more money to buy more lottery tickets...

Sunday, June 30, 2024



It was a muggy day out there.

Visit #1485, Sunday 30 June 24, 6:05-8:30AM, 5.2 miles, 45.6 lbs. of litter.

Temps in the low 70s, cloudy/foggy/humid, with a slight breeze and thunderstorms predicted for later in the day.

In early June I found some abandoned car tires at West Peak. I wanted to hike up there this morning to see if they were ever picked up.

Walking up the road I found a repeat of a sticker I'd previous removed elsewhere in the park back in April. Of course this had to go, as well.

The sticky conditions were not that bad as it was relatively cool, and there was just a touch of a breeze. But it sure looked gloomy.

This is the "non-view from West Peak. 

At the West Peak parking lot it was good to see the tires were in fact collected, thanks to the Meriden Parks Department.

In their place however, someone, for I'm sure this was all the work of one person/group, dumped a lot of trash.

Part of the collection was a bag full of shoes. If Cinderella wears Puma sandals, then I just missed my opportunity.

Gathering up all the junk stretched my supply of trash bags but I got it done. I hung them on the fence to hopefully keep critters away until the parks department again does a fabulous job.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Braving The Weather

 Sunday had it all; warm temps, high humidity, sprinkles, and bugs.

Visit #1484, Sunday 23 June 24, 5:55-7:45AM, 3.5 miles, 3.3 lbs. of litter.

In the midst of a heatwave-early morning temps in the 70s, 70% humidity, overnight rain with spotty showers.

Last week I discovered a fallen tree on the trail marked by yellow ducks, located on the south side of I-691. Because of the uncomfortable weather we're having, I deployed very early to avoid most of the nastiness. It sorta worked.

Due to the location of the fallen tree, it was easier to park in the northwest corner of Mirror Lake and carry my chainsaw in.

Here is the fallen tree as I inspected it with my mountain bike during a ride in equally nasty heat and humidity last week.

Lingering early morning showers from Saturday evening's thunderstorm kept the bugs at bay as I surveyed the scene Sunday morning.

Twenty minutes later:

I returned the chainsaw to my car and continued on a hike. Oddly, mosquitos were a problem until I crossed over the highway, then they weren't almost non-existent. I won't complain.

While the showers stopped it wasn't getting any drier out. I had enough fun in these muggy conditions; it was time to go home to a more comfortable environment.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

More of the Same


I did remind you it's the season for bug repellent. It was murder out there!

Visit #1483, Sunday 16 June 24, 6:15-7:25AM, 4.3 miles, 1.0 lbs. of litter.

Temps in the 60s rising to the low 80s, sunny, dry, and breezy.

I took an unrecorded mountain bike ride through Hubbard Park on Thursday. Whatever you do, don't stop to fix a flat tire like I did; you'll get feasted upon by mosquitoes. I started very early on Sunday in cooler, drier weather hoping to get work done before the mosquitoes headed out for breakfast.

I thought the tires I found last week  would be the last I'd see of rubber donuts. But I'd forgotten about an abandoned tire I eagle-eyed many months ago off-trail near the I-691 walkbridge. It was cold and the ground was hard when I first spotted it; no way I was going to remove it then; I would wait until the thaw.

That would be this morning.

I had to work quick because word was spreading among those blood suckers.

Three minutes later...

Getting it back to the park was no picnic. The tire was filled with dirt and not as rollable as it looks. But I succeeded, and left it next to a trash can.

I headed back onto the trails where, as long as you were moving, reasonably kept the mosquitos at bay.

Along the hike I found yet more of those prayer notes I found last week. I guess the first batch weren't answered by their intended recipient.

You can't make up this stuff.

Sunday, June 9, 2024



Every once in a while you hit a morning where you have the entire park to yourself. Of course, it doesn't hurt to start early, and in iffy conditions. This was one of those mornings.

Visit #1482, Sunday 9 June 24, 6:30-8:45AM, 5.2 miles, 2.3 lbs. of litter.

Temps in the 60s, cloudy with a period of light showers.

There was a rain shower when I woke up, but it passed by the time I left the house for Hubbard Park. Little did I know it would return later.

The weather was perfect if you were a mosquito as I soon found out. This is my second warning; bring repellent if you're going to go hiking.

As I headed west toward the I-691 walkbridge I found Connecticut's version of Coloradoing a tree #22, which I removed from the trail.

Someone doesn't like me or maybe my work in Hubbard Park, and feels the need to express themselves.

Presumably the same owner of the magic marker has decided to give themselves a name.

Today I found a lot of these prayer notes, thanking their higher power for everything but the person who picks up their litter - me.

Up at West Peak, I found two abandoned car tires and placed them against the fence near the old microwave tower. I'll ask the parks department to pick them up.

Leaving West Peak via the road, it started to shower but the tree canopy kept me mostly dry.

I pretty much had the place to myself.

My Find of the Week was Microfiber Towel #10. So far I've never had to buy one when Hubbard Park keeps supplying them.

Just another peaceful hike. I can't wait for the next one.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Musical Chairs


'Tis mosquito season as I learned today. If you'll be hiking don't forget to bring the insect repellent.

I'm glad I did. I have Maggie's Farm Insect Repellent, which I think I bought at Big Y at the Townline Plaza in Meriden. It has a locking spray cap which keeps it safe in my backpack. P.S., I get no money for this endorsement or link. I don't want you to think I'm shilling for a product!

I was supposed to remove a couple fallen trees which I discovered last week, on the Blue Trail high above Merimere Reservoir. I hiked with my chainsaw all the way up there only to discover someone had beat me to it. I suspect this "someone" is reading my blog then acting on what I report as this is not the first time this has happened. Had I known this was going to occur I could have put my labor to better use elsewhere in the park. 

In order to get to the Blue Trail I followed the trails to the Halfway House and beyond. The Halfway House is in need of its mid-season trim, which I'll mention to the Meriden Parks Department.

The hike wasn't a total waste however. I did enjoy the views.

On the walk back to the park on the road, I found someone had dumped an entire bag of trash. I added it to my haul for the week.

You may recall two weeks ago I found a couple folding camp chairs beyond West Peak, tied them together, and carried them about three miles back to the park where I dropped them into a dumpster being used for construction work under I-691.

This past Thursday I rode my mountain bike in Hubbard Park and saw that someone bothered to remove one of the chairs from the dumpster and carried it roughly a half a mile, placing it at the south end of Merimere Reservoir.

I grabbed the chair and rode one-handed down to the dumpster and re-deposited the chair, after first rendering it un-chairable. Who does stuff like this anyway?

I like these early morning ends to my hikes; it frees up the rest of the day to recover!